Meaning of FOOTPRINT in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ ˈfutprɪnt ]

noun (Science and Technology) In computing jargon, the surface area taken up by a computer on a desk or other surface. Etymology: A figurative use of footprint; the latest in a succession of technical uses employing this metaphor. In the mid sixties, footprint had been proposed as the name for the landing area of a spacecraft; from the early seventies onwards it was used for the ground area affected by noise, pressure, etc. from a vehicle or aircraft (an aeroplane's noise footprint is the restricted area on the ground below in which noise exceeds a specified level, and the footprint of a tyre is the area of contact between it and the ground); it is also used for the area within which a satellite signal can be received. History and Usage: Interest in the footprint of computer hardware began in the early eighties, with the widespread sale and use of PCs and other microcomputers which had to compete for space on people's desks with books, papers, and simply room in which to work. A small footprint soon became a selling-point for a microcomputer. In the era of hacking (see hack), there is some evidence that footprint also came to be used figuratively in computing to mean a visible sign left in a file to show that it had been hacked into (the machine-readable equivalent of 'I woz 'ere'). With features like a...memory mapper and a footprint of only 12.6 inches by 15.7 inches, it's a difficult micro to fault. advertisement in Mail on Sunday 9 Aug. 1987, p. 39

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